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Exercise, diet apps boost health well-being in youth: Study

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London, Nov 9: With concerns of digital technology harming young people’s health, a new study says that mobile applications focussed on exercise, diet and wellness promote their overall well-being and act as effective learning tools.

Health apps and devices have the potential to act as very engaging and attractive health promotion tools that could for example, help young people to learn about their bodies or improve their physical activity levels, said researchers from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

The study showed that young people are “critical participants” of digital health technologies and are able to judge which health related apps are relevant to their age and bodies, source appropriate digital content as well as dismiss those that might be harmful to them.

“There are currently over 160,000 health apps available on the major app stores focussed on wellness, diet and exercise and they are of particular interest to young people, however most of these apps are designed for adults,” said Victoria Goodyear, pedagogical researcher from the varsity.

For the study, the team included 245 young people aged from 13 to 18.

Findings, published in the journal Learning, Media and Technology, showed that one-third of the participants were active users of apps and devices related to exercise, diet and wellness.

In addition, schools, peers and parents were powerful influencers over the types of apps and devices young people used.

Importantly, many of the participants were able to disregard content that was either irrelevant to them, potentially harmful to their bodies, or simply ‘boring’.

Health education can be enhanced by learning from the ways in which young people access, select and use digital health technologies, the researchers noted.

IANS

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Covid cases haven’t yet peaked or even plateaued: AIIMS Dir

The remarks come at a time when the infections are racing ahead with the country adding at least a lakh new cases every two days.

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Randeep Guleria AIIMS

New Delhi: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria, one of India’s leading medical experts, has asserted that the coronavirus cases in the country have not yet hit their peak or even plateaued.

The remarks come at a time when the infections are racing ahead with the country adding at least a lakh new cases every two days. It has logged more than 23 lakh cases and over 46,000 deaths so far since the first case on January 30.

“These are trying times. It has tested the resilience of the nation. We have not reached the peak or started plateauing as far as cases are concerned,” Guleria, who is also the part of a core team monitoring the pandemic, said.

Shedding light on the vaccine development, he said that India has an advantage because it makes almost 60 per cent of the world’s vaccines.

“We have the capacity to manufacture a large number of vaccines and that is the commitment that the government and manufacturers have given — that we will be able to upscale our manufacturing capacity not only for our own country but for the entire world,” he added.

Three vaccine candidates are in different stages of human clinical trials in India — one developed by University of Oxford by Pune’s Serum Institute of India, the other inactivated virus vaccine by Bharat biotech and the third DNA vaccine by Zydus Cadila.

The country’s top pulmonologist further said that the vaccine development has moved so rapidly because of the collaborative work between various countries. “What the pandemic has shown is the resilience that the world has and the way researchers, manufactures and industries can come together to overcome any hardship we face as a planet.”

Guleria, however, advised caution with regards to the Russian vaccine, being touted as the world’s first coronavirus vaccine. Elaborating on the safety aspect, he said that the issue would be just to make sure that the vaccine is “safe and efficacious”.

“Any vaccine that is tried in a large number of people who are elderly or have comorbidities, safety is the most important thing and should of course be efficacious in terms of what degree of protection does it give and how long the protection lasts,” the AIIMS Director said.

The comments come in the backdrop of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement about the approval of the coronavirus vaccine for public use. It is, however, marred by controversies and is yet to complete the final trials.

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Israel shares ground-breaking technology with AIIMS to tackle Covid

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New Delhi, Aug 11 : As a part of the Israel-India cooperation to fight the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Ambassador of Israel to India, Ron Malka, on Tuesday handed over the state-of-the-art equipment and technology solutions to the All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to tackle the viral disease.

AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria thanked the Government of Israel and Ambassador Ron Malka for the gesture. “Both India as well as Israel are extending support to the international community by sharing their expertise, data, knowledge, medicines and collaborating in the areas of developing vaccine and research, thus leading by example and showing the true spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (whole world is one single family).”

He also informed that apart from patient care, AIIMS is actively involved in developing centres of excellence in many states and is regularly organising webinars, clinical grand rounds, e-ICU video consultations for dissemination of knowledge and expertise across the nation and abroad.

AIIMS is at the forefront in fighting the pandemic and also providing best quality patient care for both Covid and non-Covid patients. AIIMS has treated around 5,500 Covid patients till now.

Malka said that these technologies will further bolster India’s capabilities to tackle Covid-19. “Through cooperation and the combination of India and Israel’s medical prowess, we can find effective solutions that will help both countries, as well as the world.”

He added, “We are pleased to share the best medical technology from Israel with the most premier medical institute of India. Over the last few days, we have worked closely with AIIMS. We have been impressed by their brilliant ongoing response to the pandemic.”

The Secretary to Government of India in the Ministry of External Affairs, Sanjay Bhattacharya, was the chief guest at the function. He said, “When time gets tough, best of friends get together and India and Israel have established a sustainable and strategic partnership in various fields including the field of medicine.”

He also said that India has extended assistance to over 150 countries in the fight against Covid-19 and is committed in engaging and collaborating with the international community in the areas of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.

The technologies include an AI video-oriented, voice-operated autonomous personal AI assistant robot, an application that can be installed on any mobile phone of the Covid-19 staff which makes the work of the hospital staff inside the Covid-19 departments much more effective and easier.

Besides this, innovative products have been given which have been designed to give the clinicians constant contact free access to the patient’s vitals like heart rate and respiratory rate which improves patient safety with contact-free, continuous monitoring.

A 12-hour disinfection product called CPD that stays active and continuous to protect the surface against new attacks of contamination has also been presented.

A non-invasive remote patient monitoring system which aids as a preliminary screening tool of respiratory indicators of suspected Covid-19 and recovering patients and AI based software for Ultrasound use and designed especially for fighting Covid-19 was also handed over.

The cooperation between Embassy of Israel in India and AIIMS holds a long-term cooperation of more than a decade. In 2007, a delegation of 21 members, including senior doctors and nurses from AIIMS, participated in a training on “Trauma and Mass Casualty Management”.

The experience gained helped in the establishment of certain effective systems in the management of trauma care at the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS.

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Indian health experts take Russian Covid vaccine with pinch of salt

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COVID-19 Vaccine

New Delhi, Aug 11 : Cautiously welcoming the news of Russia registering the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, Indian health experts on Tuesday stressed that it would be too early to say if it is safe or not as the vaccine was tested on very few volunteers.

The clinical trials of the vaccine started on June 18 and included 38 volunteers.

The volunteers were divided into two main groups – one group consisted of 18 people and the other group had 20.

Russia on Tuesday became the first country in the world to register a Covid-19 vaccine jointly developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry.

According to Dr Rajesh Chawla, Senior Consultant, Respiratory and Critical Care at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi, very little is known about this vaccine as it claims to help people build immunity against this novel virus.

“It is very early to measure its efficacy and safety,” he told IANS.

According to him, a lot of parameters like age, people with multiple co-morbidities, the possibility of allergic reactions and the likes will have to be monitored before the vaccine is mass-produced.

Speaking to IANS, Dr Praveen Gupta, Director and Head, Neurology at Fortis Memorial Research Institute at Gurugram, said: “The Russian vaccine based on an inanimate protein of adenovirus has been brought to market with very short term trials of very few volunteers”.

As a medical principle, before any vaccination is used for large-scale public use, “it is advisable in view of safety and adequate prevention of a communicable disease that proper and long-duration trials are conducted before the clinical use of the vaccine,” the doctor stressed.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also raised concerns about the vaccine.

“It is too early to tell if it is safe or not. Maybe in two months, the efficacy of the vaccine will be determined,” said Gupta.

According to Dr Jyoti Mutta, Senior Consultant, Microbiology at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute in New Delhi, considering the pandemic and emergency-like situation all over the world, the Covid-19 vaccine from Russia has raised hopes.

“But safety and efficacy are important and we need to keep an eye on its upcoming results too,” Mutta told IANS.

“Every vaccine needs to pass all necessary trials and stages, and the significant results of any vaccine are seen in a minimum of one year with mass users but considering the situation everyone seems to be in a rush. We should be hopeful but wise as well,” she noted.

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